Gender Roles And Psychoanalysis In Big Little Lies

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In this essay I will analyze gender roles and psychoanalysis in the Big Little Lies series based on Liane Moriarty's novel with the same name. The action takes place in a small town where the life of the three women are presented: Madeline Mackenzie, Celeste Wright and Jane Chapman.

The base of the serial is a crime for which the three friends are investigated. The story is an interesting and a mysterious one. In the following lines I will analyze / describe the toxic relationship between Celeste and Perry (her husband). “The domestic violence is chronic and daily repeated, creating an experience in which mind and body merge into sensations of disintegration, helplessness, and fear. The experiences in the relationship of intimacy with the other make this fear emotionally unreachable and 'almighty' in relation to the victim's life and body.”

’’Psychoanalytical theory of domestic violence could account for the specific social-historic dimension of this phenomenon. Some psychoanalitical interpretation literalize or imaginarize Freudian and Lecanian texts through notions of an essetialised feminine masochism or a reductive reading of the phallus . “Men with more traditional gender roles including misogynistic gender-role attitudes are more likely to practice doestic violence and women are more likely to blame themselves for the abuse .

At the beginning Perry it is shown to us like a great husband but actually he is a monster. He is a rich and influent man ,he is controlling Celeste’ schedule .her life actually ,he is pushing her around, he is beating her ,he is a classic abuser .

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Between Celeste and Perry it is a sexual energy ,she is addicted to her husband ,she like a blind woman, she is like traditional roles require the woman to cook ,clean ,care for the children and fulfill a man’s sexual needs .For me it was painful to watch because I could feel the anxiety and the desire to help her made me feel frustrated .Celeste is a beautiful woman ,she is envied by all for her seemingly perfect marriage ; even her friends don’t know about this secret. In his defense Perry is acting like he is sick ,he is saying constantly that he needs help ,he justifies his actions by saying that he loves her so much ,he is insecure and he is afraid of losing her ,she is like a prize for him .

There are some episodes when Celeste wants to help her friend Madeline to win a case ; she is preparing herself just for a meeting to be in her “old job” again-as a lawyer and she feels alive when she is doing what she loves .This think makes Perry furious and he doesn’t want to let her practice law; he suggest her to make another child ; he is just seeing her staying home with the kids (they have two six-year-old twins ).He is manipulating her ; he reminds her that he is the one who brings money in the house ,he is always asking her : “Why didn’t we had a conversation about this ? Why you didn’t discuss this with me?”

Celeste is staying with him because he is loving him , also because he is not hurting the boys .It is a strange ,emotionally muddled relationship. Perry brings her every time gifts and surprises her just to be forgiven.

However the story ends, women like Celeste should never be judged for how they respond to abuse. We should not be asking “why doesn’t a woman just leave?” Instead the question we should be asking is: “why do men abuse women?” Men abuse because society gives them tacit permission to do so. Abusive men are simply reflecting in their individual relationships how women are treated in society as a whole – a society that still allows women to earn 20% less than men, and uses women’s bodies as “objects” to sell everything from cars to cocktails. As long as there is gender inequality at the levels we see today, there will be men who treat their wives and girlfriends with their contempt. In portraying the myriad ways a woman’s life is controlled by her abuser, I hope Big Little Lies shows viewers that it is never as simple as “just leaving”.


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Gender Roles And Psychoanalysis In Big Little Lies. (2021, October 05). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“Gender Roles And Psychoanalysis In Big Little Lies.” Edubirdie, 05 Oct. 2021,
Gender Roles And Psychoanalysis In Big Little Lies. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 May 2024].
Gender Roles And Psychoanalysis In Big Little Lies [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Oct 05 [cited 2024 May 25]. Available from:

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